Wednesday, May 17, 2017


The Loretto Chapel is a former Catholic church located a block or two south of the main community square in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It is now a private museum that charges a modest $3 entrance fee to view the chapel's interior.  In my view it is well worth the fee and should be a must visit for anyone visiting Santa Fe.

The chapel was built in 1872 as an adjunct to a convent.  The small chapel's most notable feature is its helical stairway.  Once the chapel was built, it became obvious that there was no access from the main floor to the choir loft.  The story is that an anonymous carpenter came to the rescue to build the stairway, using only very basic tools.

The exterior of the chapel is difficult to photograph because of the proximity of nearby buildings.  Here is what I got of the exterior.

It didn't help that the light was not particularly good for this shot--it was the wrong time of day.  Here are a couple of exterior detail shots.

This last is looking up at the chapel's rose window.

The interior is beautiful and appears to be in excellent shape.

I was especially attracted to chapel's complex ceiling, particularly in the apse.

Here is a wider shot looking toward the rear of the chapel, which features the helical staircase.

Shooting the staircase itself is a challenge because it is roped off.  Here is what I managed to get.

I would have loved to climb the stairs and take a couple of shots looking down, but that was not possible.  I did take a couple of detail shots, one of a lovely stained glass window and one of a Christ statue.


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